Probate Delays: When Will My Application be Granted?

Ruth Wijay
Ruth Wijay
Head of Wills, Probate & Trusts

The usual wait time for a Grant of Probate application to be granted is 4 to 8 weeks, according to the Probate Registry. But as the Coronavirus pandemic caused a backlog of Probate applications, many people are still being affected by delays in 2021.

It’s thought that the move to a new online system for Probate applications, and a shortage of staff during Covid-19, has left many people waiting months for a Grant of Probate to be granted and struggling to get through to the Probate Registry helpline.

According to the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, “completed digital applications for probate are now being granted in little more than week, on average, and in less than 10 weeks where there are errors or missing documents.” Despite this, delays are still being reported by frustrated customers.

We understand that the thought of delays is stressful but our specialist Probate Solicitors are here to help you through the process as efficiently as possible. Get in touch if you’d like help with applying for a Grant of Probate. We also offer a Full Probate Service where we can handle everything for you from start to finish.

Call us on 0808 239 4634 or request a callback

Do I Need Probate?

It depends on the size and complexity of the Estate you’re dealing with. Usually, you will need to apply for a Grant of Probate if:

  • The Estate is worth £5,000 or more
  • It includes a property and/or land
  • It contains stocks or shares

If it’s a small Estate, for example, it includes little money or there’s no property, Probate usually won’t be needed.

All banks and building societies have different thresholds for releasing Estate funds without a Grant of Probate. They can range from £5,000 to £50,000 so it’s important to check with the bank the Estate accounts are held with to see if a Grant of Probate is needed.

How Long Does Probate Take?

The full Probate process usually takes around 9 to 12 months in England and Wales. This includes getting the Grant of Probate and administering the Estate. But as we’ve seen, delays with the Grant of Probate applications over the past year have caused some issues.

At Simpson Millar, we aim to get you through the Probate process as smoothly and quickly as possible. Even once you’ve gotten the Grant of Probate, there’s still a lot to do when it comes to administering the Estate, and any errors in the paperwork can cause further delays. This is why many of our clients have chosen to use our Full Probate Service, which gives you the reassurance that everything will be taken care of by an expert Probate Solicitor.

What Can Delay Probate?

As well as current delays with the Probate Registry, there are other factors that can delay the Probate process.

For example:

  • A mistake on your Grant of Probate application
  • Outstanding Inheritance Tax to pay
  • Problems selling a Probate property
  • Issues with the Will e.g. if it’s unclear or there is a mistake
  • Dealing with cross-border assets
  • Delays from third parties e.g. a stockbroker if there are stocks or shares to deal with

How Can Simpson Millar Help You?

Administering an Estate after someone dies is a big responsibility and many people can feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. We can take this pressure off your shoulders by helping you with every step of the Probate process, from submitting the Grant of Probate application to valuing the Estate and paying Inheritance Tax.

Using an experienced Probate Solicitor ensures that all the Estate paperwork is accurate and completed to deadline so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.